I have just recently found Nina Simone.
Abbey Lincoln jane Monheit
Sarah Vaughn Carmen Lundy Lizz Wright
Ella Fitzgerald Etta Jones Rosenna Vitro
Nnenna Freelon Dianah Washington Carmen McCrae
Karen Francis Micki Howard
Dee Dee Bridgewater
Make sure you sample before you buy. Some artist will make a great LP then an average one. But I can't remember
Shirley Horn making a bad album ever.
There are many many more. Dee Dee Bridgewater will amaze you. Live in several places.
Not jazz but you have to check out Eva Cassidy.
I'm surprised nobody mentioned Diane Shuur. Perhaps the greatest jazz vocalist I know (Ella on steroids). I 2nd Diane Washington and Shirley Horn. I have many CDs by Shirley Horn but this is the best one http://www.amazon.com/You-Wont-Forget-Shirley-Horn/dp/B0000047BK/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1270340064&sr=8-2
Mary Stallings, Rene Marie, and Laverne Butler are excellent JAZZ singers. Each very different but they are not warmed up pop singers! :-) You should try them if you can. BTW, Etta Jones is great.
If you haven't got it there is a recent compilation disc on HighNote "Always In Our Hearts", "Etta Jones as we loved her". For anyone starting out this is as good a place as any.
And, if you want a real jazz singer who accompanies herself, and you appreciate something a bit laid back, I endorse previous recommendations for Shirley Horn.
And, lastly, I'm also going to endorse recommendations for Eva Cassidy - she really hits a chord for me and reaches into my heart with several of her renditions of popular songs. I save her music for special occasions!
You may like Jearlyn Steele.
Ricki Lee Jones
Toni Price (Austin local)
billie holiday. can't believe nobody's mentioned her yet...
Diana Krall. Her Trio is fantastic.
I am suprised no one has mentioned Madeline Peyroux. Fantastic female vocalist.
"billie holiday. can't believe nobody's mentioned her yet..."
- no need to mention her - she's by default
Give some of Big Mama Thornton's music a listen. She was the first to record the hit song "Hound Dog" in 1952. The song was #1 on the Billboard R&B charts for seven weeks. The B-side was "They Call Me Big Mama," and the single sold almost two million copies. I have some of her stuff on vinyl. Her voice gives me goosebumps.
Take a listen to Leslie Mendelson's CD "Swan Feathers", and any one of the three CD's by Katie Melua. Every song on the Leslie Mendelson CD is a keeper, but I find the words and melody on the two songs "Rest Of London" and "If I don't Stop Loving You" to be hauntingly beautiful.
Look for Hope Waits. I could only find it on Amazon - great female vocalist.
Linda Eder is exceptional as well.
Check out some Kellye Gray
JOAN ARMATRADING GREAT SELF TITLED FIRST ALBUM!
If you like Etta I would look into Lorez Alexander - big voice and lots of attitude like Etta, also Cassandra Wilson (her cover of Van Morrison's Tupelo Honey is excellent), Salena Jones, and Jacintha are all very interesting voices with great takes on their own music as well as the classics.
sorry spelled a name wrong - Lorez Alexandria - I cut my teeth on her album Alexandria The Great.
Sarah Brightman and Whitney Houston.
Melody Gardot--one of the best singer/songwriters I've heard in the last decade.
I assume you already have Eva Cassidy, Live at Blues Alley. If not, that should be your next purchase.
Im on rock and Amy Lee voice is sweet!
I don't know if anyone has mentioned Ella Fitzgerald. If not,there can't be a discussion of the greatest jazz singers ever without her name being included. Her "songbooks" are classics and just about anything she'e done is worth hearing. There is alot to pick from.
Sarah Vaughn, Dinah Washington, Dakota Staton, Shirley Bassey, and Gloria Lynne can be added to the list.
Roberta Gambarini,, what a range,, an Ella reincarnate! Saw her last year at The Blue Note in NYC and earlier at the Telluride Jazz Festival.. Amazing voice.
Kellylee Evans. Her third cd should be out very soon. Check out Amazon or CD Baby for samples.
Cecilia Bartoli: "Maria"; "The Impatient Lover: Italian Songs"
Tierney Sutton: "Blue in Green"; "Desire"
Kelly Flint, but only during her stint with Dave's True Story: "Sex Without Bodies"; "Nature"
I'd start with Billie Holiday as the reference standard to compare all others with.
To me, very few get any better.
Okay, the last was my first attempt here.
What I meant to say is that Carmen Cuesta-Loeb is great.